A New Farm Stay in Connecticut Invites You to Harvest, Forage, and Cook With the Local Bounty

See farm-to-table in action at this culinary retreat in the countryside outside Norfolk.

pair of photos showing the table and turnips at the Seed and Spoon experience
From left: At Seed & Spoon, a culinary retreat at Husky Meadows Farm, family-style meals are served at an antique French farm table; farm manager Adam Buggy shows off freshly pulled harukei turnips. Photo:

From left: Lisa Vollmer; Samantha Falewée

On a blustery Saturday in early May, I stood in an open-beamed farmhouse in northern Connecticut, looking into a pot of steaming tea swirling with chunks of mushroom: Chaga, reishi, and rippled fans of turkey-tail. Across from me was Tracy Hayhurst, culinary director of Husky Meadows Farm, telling me about her stint cooking meals for hikers along the Appalachian Trail in her early 20s. It was then, working off the grid, that she developed her passion for food that, like my mushroom tea, is natural, creative, and waste-free.

I had come to Husky Meadows to experience the farm’s new program, Seed & Spoon, where visitors can sleep in one of four apartment-style suites, help out in the fields and greenhouses, and cook meals with ingredients grown just yards from the dinner table.

Two photos from the Seed & Spoon culinary experience show a guest bedroom and a cooking class
From left: Culinary director Tracy Hayhurst leads a cooking class; a bedroom in the Pergola Apartment, furnished with a mix of modern and French antique pieces.

Lisa Vollmer

On a three-acre plot right outside the town of Norfolk, Husky Meadows is planted with some 100 varieties of herbs and vegetables in what farm manager Adam Buggy calls a “handworked, human-scale” operation. Owners Dominique Lahaussois and David Low (Lahaussois is originally from Corsica; both have a background in finance) bought the property 30 years ago and named it after the breed of their beloved dogs. Chef Steve Archaski started an on-site edible garden in 2014; six years later, Buggy joined the team to begin farming in earnest. A community supported agriculture (CSA) program launched in 2015 to serve the surrounding area.

Everyone I spoke to on the property was passionate about regenerative farming, which takes organic to the next level by rotating crops to increase biodiversity and improve soil health. In the future, Buggy hopes to start a community garden to welcome school groups to the property. “Farming is a public service, and I think many people don’t understand that,” he told me. “We all need small farms.”

A red farmhouse
Husky Meadows has an original dairy barn (left) and a "cooking barn" where culinary workshops take place.

Lisa Vollmer

On my first full day at the farm stay, I joined a small group of fellow food enthusiasts to traipse the grounds: harvesting arugula and Salanova lettuce; meeting Hereford Shorthorn heifers the color of red clay and cream; and biting into white turnips pulled from the stony earth. Wandering the property’s 260 acres of hardwood forest, we touched budding shiitake mushrooms that grew from carefully stacked oak logs.

On an afternoon foraging and gardening expedition, Hayhurst had me plant ramps in soil so rich and dark it looked like chocolate cake, and harvest lemony stalks of Japanese knotweed — one of the lesser-known foods she loves to introduce to guests. “You have to be adventurous, but it’s also about trust,” she says. “I’m not going to feed you something I don’t like.”

Two photos showing a farmhouse sunroom and a brunch dish
From left: The retreat's sunroom has a library and a view of the wildflower meadow; brunch is served.

From left: Lisa Vollmer; Samantha Falewée

Soon after, Hayhurst coached us through dinner prep, which began with smoked-maple mint juleps and ended with roast leg of lamb, a salad of foraged garlic-mustard greens, and hand-rolled gnocchi. Another highlight of the weekend: meeting Archaski, who is now the head baker and whose dandelion shortbread cookies were made with flowers so fresh the dough was flecked with vivid yellow and green. They paired beautifully with our mushroom tea.

Two-night retreats are held seasonally from May through October.

A version of this story first appeared in the September 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline "Working With Your Hands."

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